Love Does Not Enable Evil; A Clarification and Follow-up
As I have said before and will continue to say, professing Christians in our culture know very little about the Bible. By the way, I include myself in that assessment. After partaking in independent study for nearly ten years this ministry has discovered some basics about biblical truth that I believe are good building blocks, but for the most part, God’s family in our culture remains biblically illiterate or maybe better stated; we suffer from serious wisdom deprivation.
There are a lot of questions concerning the deep waters of Christian living that remain undiscovered and unlearned, and the only way learning will take place is faith to faith; when God’s family collectively studies the word in order to show themselves approved of God. What others say the Bible says must be confirmed by our own hearts indwelled by the Spirit who will lead us in all truth if that’s what we are really after.
So, of late, here come the accusations from posts I have written like this one: “Dohse is an antinomian.” “Dohse believes you always turn the other cheek even if your spouse hired a professional hitman to take you out.” “Dohse believes that you never file for divorce under any circumstance,” etc., etc., etc.
No, what I am saying is spouses, according to the apostle Paul, are called to peace and not suffering. That’s first. Second, spouses need to “dwell” on love, not sin. In the Bible, the “mature” (often translated, “perfect”) focus on love—not the law’s condemnation. Do you want to get rid of sin in your life? Start loving more; you can’t love and sin at the same time unless you’re a Calvinist.
In contrast, if your focus is sin and seeing the “sin beneath the sin” as a way to return to the same gospel that saved you resulting in Jesus imputing His own perfect law-keeping to your life, your own active love will obviously diminish more and more. What does such a gospel make a marriage look like? See, “Protestant.” Other than a very large percentage of Protestant marriages that are bastions of misery, we have…
“Hey honey! I just got back from being counseled by Heath Lambert and I have very good news! We both suck! We are just two unregenerate sinners living together and shouldn’t expect anything from each other except the exaltation of Christ and Him crucified! How dare I expect to be loved by you when I only deserve hell! How dare you expect to be loved by me! It’s not about anything we do, but what Jesus has done! After all, are we the gospel or is Jesus the gospel?”
In other words, “good” Protestant marriages rejoice in evil which the apostle Paul said was the antithesis of love.
Can bad Protestant marriages be fixed? Yes, when the spouse who gets it assumes the role of adult in the marriage. I mean, let’s think about this. If your spouse believes he/she can do no good work, and all of their works are as filthy rags, you have a serious marriage problem. Treating you poorly is just another grand opportunity to repent and return to the cross resulting in “vivification.” At the very least this attitude towards the law is what Jesus condemned as “relaxing” the least of all commandments. This is what Jesus accused the Pharisees of specifically; having a relaxed attitude towards using the law to love God and others.
So, does sin cause repentance or does love cause repentance? According to Calvinists, it’s not about us, yet our sin supposedly magnifies the cross and brings glory to Christ. Clearly, throughout the Bible, it is our love that glorifies the Father, not our sin. It seems to me that Protestantism boasts the exact same error that Christ condemns throughout the Sermon on the Mount specifically and the New Testament in general.
Hence, the loving spouse does not facilitate this kind of evil error. The adult spouse who is maturing in love must refuse to be defined as unregenerate and unable to please the Father. If the Protestant spouse pushes the issue in an accusatory way resulting in such things as church discipline and other forms of persecution, the mature spouse should at least separate until the errant spouse grows up.
Simply stated, there is no hope for change unless the mature spouse refuses to facilitate this false gospel or accept it in any way. Bringing a spouse up on church discipline with the cooperation of the other spouse (over a false gospel to begin with), declaring them an unbeliever, and calling for the shunning of a spouse is tantamount to divorce. In my book, the unbelieving spouse has already divorced the believing spouse. The believing spouse should leave until the unbelieving spouse either repents or files for legal divorce. In such cases, the believing spouse is not obligated to stay in the marriage.
If the situation falls short of this, the believing spouse should model the true gospel of love before the Protestant spouse. Refuse to capitulate to a false gospel that seeks to glorify the Father through sin rather than love. This is how the world knows that we are His true disciples; we love each other, we don’t look for sin under the sin and we don’t repent of good works.
Granted, there is much hard study to be done in recognizing the many-faceted ways that this truth should be applied, so let’s get busy.